Among the best pumpkin beers is Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale ($9.49 for a six-pack of 12-oz bottles at Jennifer St. Market), a slightly bitter, hop-heavy ale with mild pumpkin flavor.
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Salud! Don't like pumpkin beers? You're out of your gourd
MCT REGIONAL FEATURES
By Andy Downing
The Wisconsin State Journal
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
Oct. 25--There's generally a short window in the fall where sipping a pumpkin ale feels appropriate. More than any other seasonal offering, pumpkin beers, brewed with the orange gourd and a collection of spices normally reserved for the dessert table (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice), feel uniquely suited to their time of year. And no time is better for sampling the available varieties than Halloween weekend.
Generally, the pumpkin infuses the beer with a vegetable earthiness that can smooth out the brew, while the spices add depth and richness. It's a delicate balance, of course, and sometimes the resulting beverage can be overly sweet and cloying, like a liquid version of cheap cafeteria pumpkin pie.
The better pumpkin beers, however, offer unique flavor profiles that even avowed beer snobs can appreciate. Among the best we've tried is Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale ($9.49 for a six-pack of 12-oz bottles at Jennifer St. Market), a slightly bitter, hop-heavy ale with mild pumpkin flavor that should appeal to fans of heartier IPAs.
Poured into a pint glass, the beer has a pale orange color and gives off a slightly floral aroma, with mild-but-noticeable hints of clove and cinnamon. Flavor-wise, the bitter hops are balanced with a touch of toasty malt that adds a slight hint of sweetness. The pumpkin flavor isn't overpowering, rounding out the beer rather than dominating the landscape -- a side effect of Smuttynose's decision to brew its ale with rea